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Whittingham: one to watch

Jarmila Jackson

Friday, June 29, 2012    

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SPENCER Whittingham, son of local motorsports veteran Colin Whittingham, started this year's racing season with a bang.

Armed with his Mega Mart/Spanish Court Hotel/Tropical Battery/Citrad Ltd-sponsored Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V, the 22-year-old grabbed his first rally and sprint wins earlier this year — both events were season openers — along with class victories at Dover Raceway.

Competing in the JN8 class, Spencer began his racing career eight years ago with basic go-karting before eventually moving on to the more advanced and challenging Shifter Karts. He has only been competing in the rallysport arena for nine months and has been successful at almost every meet since starting.

"I just love the feeling of being on the edge all the time. My basic strategy is to drive as hard as I can, brake later and to carry more speed through the corners. The trick is trying to beat the competition while doing as little damage to the car as possible, because the cars are expensive to maintain," Whittingham told Auto.

Attracted by the margin of error and the thrill-factor that rallying allows, Whittingham — while enthusiastic about competing — shared his concerns about the questionable state of rallying in Jamaica amidst the current economic climate.

"The cost associated with rallying has caused a decline in the number of entries into the competition. Things get worn out and broken so easily in a rally, especially when it comes to body work, it's similar to circuit racing in that respect. There's always that constant need for improvement," he said.

"I definitely want to keep on this path that I'm on now and do well this year and get more class victories but I will have my work cut out for me. I see a lot of people becoming more competitive, stepping up and getting dogboxes, rebuilding and improving their engines to compete. So, I know that I'm going to have my hands full," he continued.

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